When it comes to chicken sandwiches, I have to say my favorite is the Original Chicken Sandwich from Burger King. Now I’m almost 100% certain that it doesn’t contain a single ounce of real chicken and is just a bunch of salty ingredients pressed into a patty that tastes like chicken, but boy does it taste good. So good, it’s been around since 1979.
When it comes to wanting real chicken, I head over to the original. The Colonel. The chicken joint formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken until some marketing genius decided that the word “fried” is bad and they should be known as three letters – KFC.
Normally I don’t have a craving for a chicken sandwich, but with all this talk lately about Chick-Fil-A, I’ve had a hankering for the bird cooked in 450-degree fat.
I’ve only been to a Chick-Fil-A a few times, to me it’s nothing special. But for some, you swear it was chicken coated in crack cocaine. I knew the company was a little “strange” when I passed through the Philadelphia airport on a Sunday and they were closed. A nice little sign saying “Closed on Sunday” was sitting on the counter where you’ll normally find people lined up waiting to order.
You’ve got to be pretty hard-core to pass up profits in the name of religion.
If you thought this was leading into one of those blogger rants about how “awesome” or “shameful” Chick-Fil-A is, you’re wrong. If I was going to go down that road, I’d have have to rag on Domino’s Pizza for their founder’s religious beliefs…. but I enjoy a hand-tossed with extra sauce and pepperoni even if it comes with a little old time religion baked in the crust.
Religious, I’m not. Opinionated, I am. But, regardless of whether you agree with what Chick-Fil-A stands for or not, there is a bigger issue. Since the chicken joint found itself in hot oil over their anti-gay marriage stance, mayors of cities have come out and said the chain is not welcome to setup shop in their town.
If a chicken chain can have the welcome mat pulled out from under them because of their stance on gay marriage, where do other social issues come into play? Will a mayor tell a company they can’t setup shop in his town because the CEO is pro-abortion, or the founder is Mormon and has six wives?
Everyone has a right to their own opinion and we’re all free to express it. Believe it or not, that’s one of the great things about living in America! When someone takes the right to express your opinion away, well…. things get a little boring and Rush Limbaugh goes off the air.
As a private business owner, I’ve been called out for numerous things I’ve said over the years. I called a certain mayor a liar on the front page of the Sunday newspaper once – above the fold – but I’m not banned from doing business in his kingdom. I’m not on his Christmas card list though.
So you think the chicken CEO is a bit too conservative. Don’t buy his product. It’s that simple. Take your business elsewhere and let them feel it in their sales.
Or will they?
As a marketing guy, I’ve been watching this whole thing unfold with wide-eyed curiosity. I’d pluck chickens myself for a year to get the amount of free publicity Chick-Fil-A is getting. “But isn’t that bad publicity, Scott?” Good or bad, it’s publicity!
Sure, Chick-Fil-A may have lost customers and that may impact store sales, but what about the people who never heard of the chain before? All of a sudden every morning radio show, every national talk radio personality, every newscast is talking about Chick-Fil-A. You can’t pay for that kind of PR! Is it going to sell chicken?
I’ll bet the hen house on it.